Blog

Nourish Your Chill Smoothie

This creamy, minty delight is a perfect treat/breakfast/cool down for any hot summer day. We recommend enjoying in the mid morning sun with a big spoon to ensure you get plenty-o honey-chocolate curls in each bite.
1 cup ice
1 frozen banana, broken into a few chunks
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp cacao nibs
1 cup fresh mint leaves (or more to taste)
1 oz Frozen Honey Mama’s Oregon Peppermint bar, shaved and kept frozen
Shave lengthwise into long curls, one oz of frozen Honey Mama’s Oregon Peppermint bar using a vegetable peeler. Place shavings in bowl and set aside in freezer.
Place ice, banana, milks, almond butter, nibs and mint leaves into blender and blend on high until creamy.
Pour into pint glass, top with chilled Honey Mama’s Oregon Peppermint bar shavings and enjoy!

Raspberry CocoNoNut Ice Cream

 

Ice cream is a quintessential summer pastime, and during these sizzling summer months we always like to have some on hand in our freezer. While we love a good, simple vanilla (especially with any flavor of crumbled Honey Mama’s on top), there are so many fresh berries this time of year we just couldn’t resist whipping up a flavor loaded with juicy, bright red raspberries.

 

 

This is a great ice cream to serve up at your next summer BBQ, and it’s incredibly simple to make. Feel free to experiment with any combination of local berries you might have on hand.

 

 

Raspberry CocoNoNut Ice Cream
(Recipe by Ivy Entrekin)
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 (13.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
½ cup cashew milk (or sub more coconut milk)
½ cup Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 (2-inch) piece vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 T. grass-fed gelatin, optional

1 Honey Mama’s CocoNoNut Cacao-Nectar bar, chopped

 

 

 

Place 1 cup of the raspberries in a blender, and add the coconut milk, cashew milk, dates, lemon juice, and vanilla bean seeds. Blend until smooth. Place gelatin in a small bowl (if using), and whisk in ¼ cup boiling water. Restart the blender, and add the gelatin mixture through the feed tube while the engine is running. Blend for about 30 seconds, or until well-mixed. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill.

 

After an hour or so, pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker, and press the start button. Roughly chop the remaining raspberries and set aside. Once the mixture reaches “soft serve” consistency, add raspberries and the chopped Honey Mama’s pieces. Churn until the mixture firms up.

 

Makes 1 heaping quart of ice cream.

 

Notes:
If you don’t have vanilla beans on hand, you can sub a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
The addition of gelatin ‘stabilizes’ frozen treats, and gives them a nice, creamy texture. If you want to keep your treats 100% vegetarian, you can leave it out. I have also read about using guar gum, xanthan gum, or soy lecithin for purposes such as this, but I have never experimented with them myself. I keep the bowl of my ice cream maker in the freezer at all times so that it is always ready to go. Most machines require that the bowl be frozen for at least 24 hours before attempting to make ice cream, but refer to the manufacturer’s directions that came with yours for exact instructions.

 

Nibs & Coffee Cake

To celebrate our Nibs & Coffee bar sofi Award win for Best Sweet Snack from the Specialty Food Association last month, we came up with a delectable new recipe to share! We’ve put the coffee in the coffee cake, that’s right! Now you can get your morning dose of coffee inside of your coffee cake instead of alongside it. How fun is that?

Eat, share, enjoy!

Streusel:
2 Honey Mama’s Nibs & Coffee Bars (5 oz.), chopped
½  c. pecans, chopped
½ c. coconut sugar
¼ c. Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour
¼ c. coconut oil, room temperature or slightly softened
2 tsp. cinnamon

Cake:
1 c. almond milk
1 T. apple cider vinegar
2 c. Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. Spectrum organic shortening (or butter)
1 c. coconut sugar
2 eggs

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” cake pan and set aside.

2. Place streusel ingredients in a bowl and use your fingers to break up the coconut oil (if the oil has reached a more liquified state you can just stir to mix the ingredients). Set aside.

3. Pour apple cider vinegar into a measuring cup, then fill with almond milk to reach the 1 cup mark. Give it a quick stir, then set aside. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl; set aside. Place coconut sugar and shortening in a medium-size bowl and mix with a handheld electric mixer until fully incorporated. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix well. Add 1 egg, mix, then add ½ the remaining flour mixture. Add the last egg, then the remainder of the flour, mixing after each addition. Drop mixer speed to low, then slowly pour in the almond milk and vanilla; mix until fully incorporated.

4. Spread half the cake batter into the pan and top with half of the streusel. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the streusel, then sprinkle the rest of the streusel on top.

5. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 15-20 minutes before serving.

Notes:
I used organic palm shortening to make this cake dairy-free, but you can use room temperature butter if you prefer. If you aren’t following a grain-free diet, you may be able to use regular all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour, but the cooking time may be slightly different. My cake seemed like it could burn on top before the center set, so I added a foil tent loosely over the top for the last 10-15 minutes.

 Serves 12

The Mama’s Mama’s Cookie

 

The Mama’s Mama’s Cookie

This recipe is adapted from a recipe given to me by my mom, Marcie Goldsby.

As far back as I remember growing up, my mom spent her late afternoons every day in the kitchen making dinner for our family of six. There was a particular combination of focused, creative action happening in there that inevitably resulted in all six of us—and more often than not, friends and neighbors—coming together to share a meal at the end of the day. It was as simple, and routine, and magical as that. She was the soul of that kitchen, the real deal, and the recipes she made were like family stories: always a little different, but steady and true and shared. They brought people together and were always, always, delicious. Everything about this cookie recipe reflects the care and magic of the food she made. She shared this recipe with me years ago, and we eventually made and sold these in a bakery we owned together in the early 2000’s called Blue Gardenia. It was our best selling cookie, and for good reason. These little rounds of goodness are light and flakey and crunchy, and have enough chocolate to satisfy the ever-present need for “just a little MORE” chocolate in almost everything.

So here it is! Make, eat, enjoy and share with people that you love.

From our kitchen to your table. Nourish ~ Delight

Christy Goldsby
Founder & CEO, Honey Mama’s

The Mama’s Mama’s Cookie

*I haven’t altered the original recipe much: I’ve made it gluten free, changed the oil from safflower to coconut, and swapped out bittersweet chocolate chips for Honey Mama’s chunks (Oh ya!)..

Ingredients:

3 cups gluten free extra thick cut oats, toasted (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups raw almonds, toasted
2 cups gluten free flour (I used Pamela’s Artisan Mix)
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 cup extra virgin coconut oil (melted)
1 cup maple syrup
1 T vanilla extract
2 cups (4 packaged bars) cold Honey Mama’s bars cut into 1/2” chunks (I used Dutch for this recipe)

Preparation

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    3. Toast the almonds and oats (this can be done at the same time on two racks in the oven). Spread oats in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Spread almonds in a single layer on another cookie sheet. Place in preheated oven and toast until just aromatic, 13-14 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature
  2. With a large chefs knife, roughly chop all toasted almonds and about half of toasted oats (this can also be done by gently pulsing in food processor).
  3. In a large bowl gently mix together all dry prepped ingredients: almonds, oats, flour, salt, and baking soda
  4. Melt coconut oil (this can be done by placing a jar of solid coconut oil in a pot of hot water for a few minutes). Measure the melted oil.
  5. In a medium bowl combine all wet ingredients (melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract). Whisk until blended.
  6. Remove Honey Mama’s bars from fridge and chop into chunks with large chefs knife.
  7. Add wet ingredients and Honey Mama’s chocolate chunks into dry ingredients. Mix with a large spoon until integrated.
  8. Refrigerate cookie dough for 20 minutes
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  10. Remove cookie dough from fridge and spoon portions onto lined cookie sheet. Use a quart size ball jar lid to shape cookies (place lid on sheet and fill 3/4 full, pressing dough to edges to form). Careful not to crowd cookies on sheet.
  11. Bake 18-21 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 20-24 cookies. Enjoy!

Double the Chocolate, Double the Love

 

We have to admit something: this isn’t a new recipe. It isn’t even a Honey Mama’s creation. It was borrowed from Texanerin a few months ago, and we’ve been enjoying batch after batch of these delicious cookies ever since, applying our own little tweaks along the way. They’re incredibly decadent, and even though they should have been introduced to you back before Christmas, we love how they are arriving on our blog just before Valentine’s Day. Pretty apropos since February is the month most devoted to love, and what says love better than chocolate?

We used chopped pieces of our CocoNoNut bar as a stand-in for chocolate chips here, but you could use any flavor with the same stellar results. If this hasn’t been mentioned before, our bars taste AMAZING in cookies! Most of us are suckers for an ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookie, but our chunks lend a fudgy texture to baked goods that takes your average cookie to an entirely new level.

Bake a batch of these cookies to share with your sweetie (or your mom, sister, housemate, best friend…you get the picture). It’s all about sharing the love, baby. You could also just squirrel them away for some solo noshing. Shhhh…your secret is safe with us.

“Double the Chocolate, Double the Love” Cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Texanerin

¾ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
⅓ cup + 4 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
⅓ cup + 1 T. softened virgin coconut oil
¾ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup + 2 T. creamy almond butter
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg (or 1 chia egg)
1 Honey Mama’s CocoNoNut bar, chopped

Directions:

Sift almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer on medium speed to beat together the coconut oil and sugar until well combined, about 1 minute. You could also used a stand mixer here. 

Beat in the almond butter and vanilla extract, then reduce the speed to low. Add the egg, and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour mixture, and stir by hand until fully combined. Fold in the chopped Honey Mama’s pieces. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, until the dough firms up a bit.

Heat oven to 350°, and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the fridge, roll it into 8 balls, and place the balls 3″ apart on the prepared baking sheet. Press the balls down lightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 11-14 minutes, or until the surface of the cookies no longer appears wet. They’ll be very soft but will continue to firm up as they sit on the cookie sheet. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes 8 large cookies

Notes:

Whereas most recipes call for melted coconut oil, this one works best if the oil is just softened slightly. Melted oil may result in a cookie dough that spreads while baking, producing an oilier cookie overall. Soften your coconut oil just enough that you can easily mix it with the sugar.

The author of the original recipe suggests that you can make these cookies vegan by substituting a “chia egg” for the regular egg. We didn’t try this method in our kitchen, and can’t speak to the results. If you want to give it a go, you can find instructions on making a chia egg here.

 

Drinking Chocolate

I’m receiving a fine lesson in “rolling with the punches” this week. Portland’s latest identity crisis has to do with the weather, and man-o-man, it’s been a doozy. Snow and ice have royally screwed with my plans this winter, and in an effort to not get bunched up about it, I’m trying to find comfort in the way I am being forced to slow way down, and enjoy some quiet time at home. I’ve read books that have been on my bookshelf for years untouched, and have finally organized my office space. I’ve completed work projects that felt unattainable before, and have done it all with at least one happy cat curled up on my lap. I am grateful for my warm, albeit ever-so-humble apartment, over-the-knee Smartwool socks, and the thick, alpaca scarf my mom sent from Ecuador a few years ago. I spend my “down” time searching the web for tropical travel destinations to give me fodder for my daydreams, and drink cup after cup of hot tea. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not so bad, but I miss the predictability of the winters of Portland past, and although it’s shocking to hear myself say this…I miss the rain.

 

I’ve been playing with a smoothie recipe for the past week, and was planning to post that for you today, but smoothies don’t really float my boat when it’s chilly out, and I’m assuming at least a few of you feel the same. As I headed into my kitchen today to prepare a little sweet snack (which almost always includes a hunk of Honey Mama’s), I had an idea: drinking chocolate. I’ve enjoyed it in those fancy little chocolate shops around town, and it always hits the spot, but it never occurred to me to make it with our honey-sweetened bars until today. Silly, silly me.

 

This drink is crazy rich, like the most amped-up drinking chocolate you’ve ever been served, and it fulfills those winter weather cravings like a champ. It doesn’t get 100% smooth, even after 1 full minute in the Vita-mix, but the texture didn’t bother me one bit. In fact, I grabbed a tiny spoon to scoop the precious dregs from the bottom. I may have even licked the interior of the cup. Yes-it was that good.

 

Drinking Chocolate (serves 2)

 

2/3 cup of unsweetened milk (I used hemp-coconut milk)

1 Honey Mama’s Dutch Cacao-Nectar Bar, broken into smaller pieces

1 T. maple syrup

½ tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. cinnamon

Add milk and Honey Mama’s pieces to a small pot and place over medium-low heat. Bring to a low simmer. Pour into a Vita-Mix (or other high-powered blender), and add the remaining ingredients. Blend on high speed for one full minute. Pour into two small cups.

Quinoa Flake Porridge

I’ve been having a little love affair with porridge this winter, and it’s about time I tell you all about it. I’ve flirted with steaming bowls of porridge off and on my entire life, but in an effort to consume less grains, I eliminated it from my diet a couple of years back. What a loss it was to remove such a hearty, warming, stick-to-your-ribs option from my morning breakfast rotation! A recent recommendation from my naturopath has me eating grains once again, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Amaranth, buckwheat groats, and teff have all popped up in my kitchen lately, but my most recent obsession is with quinoa flakes. Bearing the most resemblance to the quick-cooking oats of my childhood, quinoa flakes cook up in a flash. All you have to do is set a pot of milk to simmer, add quinoa flakes and spices, and, ta da! Breakfast is served.

Besides being a cinch to prepare, quinoa flakes are chock full of nutritional benefits that make them a star among breakfast options. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber, low in calories (if you tend to count those), and very high in antioxidants. Even though quinoa is not technically a grain (check out the term “psuedo grain” to learn more), it still counts as a highly nutritious, whole-grain food that is safe for those following gluten-free and/or low-grain diets.

Sometimes I go willy-nilly with the spice cabinet, throwing in just about everything I get my hands on, but lately I’ve been settling on a bowl flavored simply with cinnamon and a little vanilla, which allows me a bit more freedom when adding toppings. Last week, I made this exact bowl two days in a row, then enjoyed it again this morning. I can’t seem to get enough. If gives me the brain fuel to get my day off to a good start, and powers me through my late-morning Vinyasa yoga class. All the good, healthy fats, and easily digestible proteins carry me wonderfully into my day, and I plan to repeat this bowl frequently throughout this long, dark winter.  This recipe makes a hearty portion of porridge, once you add all the extras. If you tend to crave a lighter breakfast, half this with your sweetie or housemate. 

 

Quinoa Flake Porridge (Serves 1-2)

 

1 ½ c. unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk)

½ cup quinoa flakes

1 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 scoop grass fed collagen powder (optional)

1 T. goji berries

1 tsp. raw honey

1 banana, sliced

1 T. Wild Friends Organic Honey Sunflower Butter (or your favorite nut/seed butter)

¼ cup granola (I like Paleonola Maple Pancake)

1 ounce (1 piece) Honey Mama’s Nibs & Coffee

 

Bring milk to a simmer, and stir in quinoa flakes. Reduce heat to low, and stir in cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and goji berries. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened and creamy. Remove from heat, and stir in the collagen powder (if using). Pour into a serving bowl, and top with remaining ingredients.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Last month, a few of us Mama’s hopped on a plane and zipped down to Malibu for Mercado Sagrado, a two-day curated indie craft experience. My-oh-my, what a treat it was to trade cloudy Portland skies for some good ol’ SoCal sunshine. Not having spent nearly enough time in these parts, I was blown away by the beauty that awaited us. Don’t get me wrong, I love Portland with my whole heart, but I could spend a lifetime bearing witness to those gorgeous Malibu sunsets. Not only did we soak up plenty of Vitamin D-rich sunshine, we also introduced a lot of new folks to our products, and made some new friends along the way. I kind of fell in love. The event itself was held outdoors at Paramount Ranch, and the whole set-up made me feel like I was taking part in some kind of modern-indie-western film. It was the perfect backdrop for this ethereal event, and the word “otherwordly” came to my mind more than once.

I had been working on a new holiday cookie recipe the week before the event, so I grabbed the remnants of the latest batch on my way out the door. I always head to the airport armed with plenty of snacks, and these cookies hit the spot when we were at about 36,000 feet above the earth’s surface. Paired with some nitro cold-brew coffee from Stumptown (gotta love the options at PDX), this girl was in heaven.

I wanted to give this recipe another test run before I sent it your way, and finally had time to do that yesterday. Honestly, I think I love them even more this time around. Maybe it’s the snow on the ground, or the comforting aroma of the wafting spices, but these cookies hit a sweet spot that warmed me from the inside out. Soft and vaguely reminiscent of the oatmeal-cinnamon cookies I used to enjoy as a child, I devoured two quickly with a glass of warm almond milk. I’ve been wanting to use our Mayan Spice Cacao-Nectar bar in a cookie recipe for a while now, and this one was the perfect match. While I love the structure of the Mesquite Chocolate Chunk Cookies I posted last month, there’s something about the softness of these pumpkin cookies that feels like a warm hug. For bonus points, I made them 100% grain-free for all you Paleo lovers out there. I can see them being the perfect match for holiday eggnog, and a welcome addition to any holiday dessert table.

Pepita Pumpkin Spice Cookies:

2 ½ cups raw pepita “flour” (see Notes below)

2 ½ tsp. cinnamon

1 ½ T. ground flaxseed

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. Himalayan pink salt

½ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. cardamom

¼ tsp. nutmeg

⅛ tsp. cloves

½ cup canned pumpkin

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup melted coconut oil

1 T. vanilla extract

¼ cup shredded coconut

1 Honey Mama’s Mayan Spice Cacao-Nectar Bar, cut into rough chunks

 

Directions:

Mix pepita flour through cloves in a mixing bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract until fully blended. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir to mix well. Fold in shredded coconut and cacao-nectar pieces. Place in refrigerator to firm up, about 30 minutes to an hour.

 

Preheat oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out about 2 T. of dough, roll into a loose ball, and drop onto the baking sheet, flattening slightly. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies a couple of inches apart.

 

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.

 

Notes:

I make my own pepita flour by pulsing raw (or sprouted) pepitas in a food processor until they are broken down into a fine meal. The seeds will turn into butter if you let them go for too long, so stop processing just before they reach that point . The texture of your pepita flour will make a huge difference in how your cookies turn out. A flour that is more coarse will produce a batter that is more likely to spread while baking. If the batter is too loose to roll easily into a ball after chilling, this is a good sign that your cookies will spread. They will still taste delicious, you will just need to leave a lot of space between each cookie when placing the dough on your baking sheet. Be sure to watch closely, and potentially adjust the baking time to keep the cookies from burning. I made three batches of these cookies, and they came out different every time, as shown in the photos below. I didn’t prefer one over the other. They all tasted great!

  1. Fine pepita meal:

2. Coarse pepita meal:

The Magic of Raw Honey

Let’s chat about honey, shall we?

Most folks think chocolate is what makes our bars so special. While we agree that cacao is an incredible superfood (see our post about that here), it is the raw honey that we use to sweeten our bars that makes them so unique. Raw honey goes way beyond just being a delicious sweetener; in fact, it has a multitude of medicinal uses that I will discuss later on in this post. Ever since I started working for Honey Mama’s, it has been my goal to spread the word about how nutritious our products actually are. Redefining the word “treat” is not an easy thing to do, but it does help when you have a product as delicious as our cacao-nectar bars to help plead your case. Treats don’t have to be bad for you; as a matter of fact, a treat can be defined as “an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure”. Funny how a word that is defined so simply has become synonymous with sugar-laden, nutrient-void confections. Our bars definitely aren’t candy, but they certainly don’t taste as healthy as they are. They “treat” you from the inside out, and that’s pretty special. If you can hang with me for a moment, I will tell you a little bit more about why you feel so darn good when you eat them.

IMG_0225

Back when I was a kid growing up in Alabama, my mom would often bring home honey that had been gifted to her by one of the locals. If the jar happened to have a honeycomb in it, my older brother and I would scoop it out, split it in half, and savor every morsel. It was the most delicious treat we could imagine, and I preferred it to cake, cookies and donuts combined. Seriously. Even back then – when my knowledge of good health was minimal at best – I understood that local honey was good for me. To this day, at the first sign of seasonal illness, I whip up a batch of my favorite honey-based, anti-inflammatory “magic paste” as a cure-all for winter ailments.

img_0006

 

It is an extremely unfortunate circumstance, however, that in recent years honey has become compromised by mass production, pasteurization, and companies that just straight up lie about the amber colored liquid they place in their jars. Honey, at times, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. While searching for information on the subject, I ran across an article on naturalnews.com that contained the following paragraph:

“Raw honey is honey that has not been heated, pasteurized or processed in any way. The differences between raw and pasteurized honey are substantial. Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. These are the very nutrients that are destroyed during the heating and pasteurization process. In fact, pasteurized honey is equivalent to – and just as unhealthy as – eating refined sugar.”

Wow – that’s some powerful information right there. Yet another reason to be sure you know where you food is coming from. Fortunately for us, we have some great allies in Matt & Madelyn from Mickelberry Gardens. This is who we source our honey from, and when it comes to sustainable bee-keeping practices, these guys know their stuff. Located out in Gresham, Oregon, their beehives are close to our SE Portland production kitchen, making the honey we buy from them local to our area. When you open a jar of their honey, you know you are in for a treat; one taste and you almost instantly feel better. The honey we purchase from Mickelberry is considered to be “low brix” which means that it is thicker, less sweet, and chock full of all the good things. Without this amazing ingredient, our bars would be a very different product. As one of my coworkers recently said, “the honey is the binder that keeps all the other ingredients in suspension”. That Mickelberry honey is special stuff, y’all. Here’s a little info from Matt & Madelyn’s website…

“You may notice that our honey and all of our honey tonics are made with Raw Honey. We are very careful to make sure that none of our honey is ever heated above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We consider this “hive temperature” – we never allow the honey to reach a temperature higher than it might get inside the beehive on a hot summer day. By maintaining a low temperature honey’s therapeutic virtues, delicate fragrances and flavors, and enzyme content are all preserved. Honey contains the essence of flowers, and also has small amounts of pollen and propolis residues. Keeping it raw ensures it is at peak medicinal potency.”

_MG_2528

To gather more information about Mickelberry Gardens, please click here. To order their products, you can visit their online store.

_MG_2634

At its best – raw and untainted – honey has a long list of positive attributes. Just to name a few:

  1. Antioxidants out the wazoo. Researchers say honey contains varying concentrations of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
  2. Anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Honey uses a combination of weapons, including hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols — all of which actively kill bacterial cells. It can be used to treat bladder infections, influenza, skin infections, and the common cold, among others.
  3. Strengthens the immune system. Honey contains phytochemicals from the plant’s nectar that stimulate the immune system.
  4. Relieves allergy symptoms. This idea refers to eating honey that is local to your area. Supposedly, when a person eats local honey, they are thought to be ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become less-sensitive to this pollen. As a result, they may experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms.
  5. Heals wounds. High quality raw honey will help draw fluid away from your wound and suppress the growth of microorganisms.
  6. Stabilizes blood pressure. The content of enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants in honey boost immunity and help stabilize blood pressure in the body.
  7. Balances sugar levels. Raw honey is actually kind of a cool mystery in how it breaks down in the body. It is directly converted to liver glycogen and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels like sucrose or high fructose corn syrup even though it contains the same simple sugars.
  8. Relieves pain. When combined with cinnamon, honey has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to benefit those suffering from arthritis, toothache, upset stomach, indigestion, and more.
  9. Calms nerves. Honey is known to contain high levels of tryptophan which helps to reduce anxiety and relax the nerves. It is also known to be rich in potassium, which helps to fight off stress hormones, and has a soothing effect on the brain and body.
  10. Treats ulcers. Glucose oxidase, an enzyme in honey, produces hydrogen peroxide, which kills harmful bacteria that can contribute to the development of ulcers. There are also other floral antibacterial substances in honey, which come from flowers when bees collect pollen, that add to honey’s effectiveness in eliminating bacteria.

Honey bees are hard-working creatures that do much more than just provide nectar. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these under-appreciated insects pollinate 80 percent of our flowering crops, which constitute one-third of everything we eat. Losing them could affect not only dietary staples such as apples, broccoli, strawberries, nuts, asparagus, blueberries and cucumbers, but may threaten our beef and dairy industries if alfalfa is not available for feed. Unfortunately, our honey bees are in peril. An article released earlier this month states that a species native to Hawaii was just granted protection under the Endangered Species Act. Now is the time to get involved. Donate time, cash, or find out ways to create a bee habitat in your own back yard:

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/sustainable-agriculture/save-the-bees/

http://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/donate-now/

http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/take-pledge

http://www.beyondtoxics.org/work/save-oregons-bees/action/

img_0005

For additional reading: 

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2014/march/honey-is-a-new-approach-to-fighting-antibiotic-resistance-how-sweet-it-is.html

http://www.bluecollarbees.com/2012/03/can-diabetic-eat-honey-yes-they-can-and.html

http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/honey.asp

http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/ulcer-natural-treatments/

http://www.naturalnews.com/035493_raw_honey_health_benefits_antibacterial.html#ixzz4OUipNSHf

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/the-importance-of-honeybees

 

Bee_small_red

Mesquite Chocolate Chunk Cookies

It’s been one of those yo-yo weeks. You know the kind – one minute you’re incredibly excited about the future, and the next finds you jumping out of your skin. Oh, life. It is such a roller coaster ride. Transitions are hard – even the really, really good ones – and even though I know change is necessary, and actually kinda crave it, it can be difficult sometimes to stay balanced among all the flux. Saturday hit me like a ton of bricks, when the cloud I’d been walking on for several days dissipated, and I found myself huddled on the couch with a cozy blanket and two sweet cats, unable and/or unwilling to make any decisions, even minor ones. Somewhere around midday I decided to take a walk, and it took me about an hour to actually get out the door. “What will I wear? Is it going to rain? Should I take a raincoat? Well, if I’m leaving the house I should probably take these books back to the library. Maybe I should stop by the market and grab something for dinner, but I’ll have to change clothes since these tights I’m trying to pass off as pants don’t have a pocket for my debit card…” and so on.  

Let’s start from the top, people. I’m a pretty happy lady most of the time. I try to meet each day with a smile, and I don’t get too bummed out when things don’t go my way. I don’t pout very often, and I always try to look on the bright side of things. But sometimes I get sad, or scared, or both, and I have to honor those feelings too. So, I go ahead and change out of the tights and put on pants that have pockets. I take the rain coat just in case, and get my ass out of the house before I change my mind. Walking is one of several forms of therapy that I utilize often. Fresh air is the best mojo for my rattled emotions, and even if I don’t solve all the world’s problems during my hour-long walk, at least I gain a few morsels of clarity, and come home in a somewhat better mood. While I am out, I go ahead and stop by the market. I purchase all the fresh vegetables, some organic quinoa, a nice piece of fish…and then I come home, sit all my well-intended purchases down, and head straight into the kitchen to bake cookies. Because, c’mon…vegetables are great, but who doesn’t feel instantly better when they take the first bite of a fresh-from-the-oven, warm, chocolatey cookie? If that person exists, I sure haven’t met them.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Let me be quite honest, here. I’m not much of a baker. I do beautiful things with vegetables, but baking and me have never quite gotten along. I’m a pinch of this, pinch of that kind of person, and the preciseness that comes along with baking has never made me jump for joy. But if you have as many dietary restrictions as I do, going out to purchase baked goods that won’t make you sick is a real challenge, even in a progressive city like Portland. So…I bake, and every now and then I hit the nail on the head.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

This is the first paleo cookie I’ve made that actually tastes like a cookie. It doesn’t taste as healthy as it is, it isn’t loaded with nut flour (all that almond flour does a number on my digestive system), and it has the perfect crumb. Every single person I shared these cookies with fell in love. A couple of folks could not believe the cookies were free of dairy, “but they taste SO buttery!”. One friend thought they tasted like molasses, and another vowed that this creation broke the stereotype that all gluten-free cookies taste “grainy, sandy, or metallic”. Believe me, these cookies are out-of-this-world delicious, and they soothed my heart and soul in a profound way. It was great to share them with others, and I am thankful for the ingenious baker that did all the leg work to conceptualize this recipe. I took the liberty of substituting a few ingredients to fit my own dietary needs, but I have given credit where credit is due at the top of the ingredients list.

One thing for certain is that the world around you will never stop changing. There will be sunny days and cloudy days, and hopefully, there will always be fresh-baked cookies to help everything turn out a-okay in the end. Go make these cookies for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Mesquite Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Adapted from a recipe by Alanna Taylor-Tobin on FOOD52

  • ½ c. (113 grams) virgin coconut oil
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • ¾ c. (160 grams) coconut sugar
  • 1 c. (130 grams) mesquite flour (I used Sunfood brand)
  • ¼ c. plus 2 tablespoons (45 grams) tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 ounces (2 bars) Honey Mama’s Dutch Cacao-Nectar, chopped into chunks
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped, toasted hazelnuts
  • Flaky salt for sprinkling on top

 

  1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Gently heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. Place the coconut sugar in a large bowl, add coconut oil, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, and stir them into the mixture. Let cool, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, sift together the mesquite and tapioca flours, baking soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  5. When the sugar mixture has cooled to warm, beat in the egg until well combined. I recommend using an electric mixer so that the oil, sugar and eggs become fully emulsified. Use a sturdy wooden spoon to stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, stirring until well combined, then continue to stir vigorously for a few more seconds; the mixture will firm up slightly. Stir in the nuts and chopped cacao-nectar until evenly distributed. If the dough is soft, place it in the refrigerator to firm up a bit, 15 to 30 minutes (or chill for up to 1 week).
  6. Scoop the dough into 1 1⁄2-inch (4-centimeter) diameter balls (about 3 tablespoons; a size 24 or 30 spring-loaded ice cream scoop makes this a snap) and place them on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 1/2 centimeters) apart, topping each with a few flecks of flaky salt.
  7. Bake the cookies until the edges are golden and set and the tops are pale golden but still soft, 8 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans back to front and top to bottom after 5 minutes for even baking.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven, let cool on the pans for a minute, then pull them, parchment and all, onto cooling racks to stop the cooking. They will be very soft and fragile at first, but will firm up when cool. Let cool to warm, at least 10 minutes, before devouring. Cooled cookies can be stored airtight for up to 3 days.

NOTE: Mesquite flour can be super clumpy, so be sure to sift it!

 

Bee_small_red